Tag Archives: Sharpe’s Grysbok

Sharpe’s Grysbok

 

Raphicerus sharpei

The little known Sharpe’s Grysbok is another of South Africa’s smaller antelope, at an average weight of 8kg and about 50cm high at the shoulder.

These grizzled antelope occur in riverine thickets and dense bushveld, often in association with rocky outcrops, and always near water. They require daily access to drinking water and are mixed feeders, browsing and grazing on leaves, young grass, shoots, roots, fruits, berries and seedpods.

Sharpe’s Grysbok are normally seen alone, occurring in pairs only when mating or when a ewe is accompanied by her latest lamb.They’re mostly nocturnal in their habits, hiding during the day in long grass, under shrubs, between rocks and even in holes dug by other animals, especially aardvarks. They have very small home ranges, and seldom flees far before hiding in a thicket. Rams mark their areas, which overlap with the ranges of up to 4 ewes, with glandular secretions and dungpiles. Lambs are born at any time of the year, and are hidden by the ewe for up to 3 months. Sharpe’s Grysbok are preyed upon by all Africa’s large predators, from jackals, pythons and eagles to lions, and have a short life expectancy of only 6 to 10 years in the wild.

The conservation status of Sharpe’s Grysbok is considered “least concern” by the IUCN, who describes it as being widespread and common with a generally stable population estimated at about 95,000, of which roughly a third occurs in formally protected areas. In South Africa, where they occur in the Limpopo and Mpumalanga Provinces, your best bet to find them are in the northern Kruger National Park, especially around Shingwedzi and Punda Maria camps.

Sharpe's Grysbok (1)

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